Nephrotic-range proteinuria is defined as urinating more than 3.5 grams of protein per day. That’s 25 times the normal amount, and is the primary indicator of the nephrotic syndrome — a group of diseases that damage the kidneys’ filtering system.

Researchers at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary in the United Kingdom looked at the effect of omega-3 fatty acids.

First, the details.

  • 17 patients with nephrotic range proteinuria were compared to 17 age and sex matched controls.
  • Lipid blood levels after eating were assessed before and after 8 weeks of treatment with 4 gram daily of omega-3 fatty acids (Omacor, Lovaza).
  • A standard fat load (90 grams) was administered and blood samples of lipids were taken before and 2, 4, 6, and 8 hours later.

And, the results.

  • Before treatment, chylomicron triglycerides (small fat globule composed of protein and fat) in the patients with nephrotic syndrome were significantly greater vs the control group.
  • Following omega-3 treatment chylomicrons fell significantly in the patients with nephrotic syndrome.
  • There was no reduction in the control group.
  • Following 8 weeks of treatment with omega-3 there were no differences between the groups.

The bottom line?
The authors concluded that omega-3 fatty acid “would be an ideal therapy in combination with statins for this high risk group of patients.”

1/20/09 20:49 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.